Book Review

Data Enhanced Leadership

edited by Alan M. Blankstein, Paul D. Houston and Robert W. Cole, Corwin Press (with the Hope Foundation and AASA), Thousand Oaks, Calif., 2010, 168 pp. with index, $25.95 softcover

Seventh in the Soul of Educational Leadership series, Data Enhanced Leadership, edited by Alan Blankstein, Paul Houston and Robert Cole, is a compilation of work submitted by well-respected and well-known education leaders. Blankstein is founder of the HOPE Foundation, Houston serves as president of the Center for Empowered Leadership, and Cole is the founder of Edu-Data.

The book’s purpose is to provide information on how to use data most effectively. The contributors stress the importance of using data as a tool to invite dialogue focused on continuous improvement. While data often are used for summative evaluation, this book focuses more on using data as a formative measure that is purposeful in nature.

While emphasis is placed on student learning, the essayists suggest that adults be required to learn continuously with the leader modeling the way. Professional learning communities are recognized as a collaborative method for dialogue.

Several templates are provided as examples for disaggregating data at the school district, campus, classroom and individual student levels.

Data Enhanced Leadership is a great resource for district leaders for understanding data should not be used to place blame or grant glory, but rather should be applied as a tool, to constantly focus on systemwide improvement.

Reviewed by Lylia King, executive director of curriculum and instruction, Cleburne Independent School District, Cleburne, Texas